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April 28, 2012

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WWE Extreme Rules 2012 …now with more Brock Lesnar!

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena

WWE Extreme Rules 2012… now with more Brock Lesnar!

It’s that time of year, again, kids. Backlash!

Oh, wait, no. That’s right; Backlash is gone and the dying remnants of ECW are thrown at us in the form of a monthly gimmick pay-per-view. WWE Extreme Rules 2012. I hate to get all negative right off the bat, but you know it’s true. Gimmicks for the sake of having a gimmick don’t make much sense to me. However, somehow, the booking for this year’s Extreme Rules event WORKS for nearly all of the gimmick matches involved.

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena

First up, we’ve got Brock Lesnar returning for his first wrestling match in around seven years. …At Extreme Rules 2012. Odd, no? Don’t worry, he’ll be sticking around for a bit. A month after The Rock makes his big return to WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar’s back in the ring, too. (Speaking of which, I never wrote a WrestleMania article, and probably won’t. The whole show was forgettable. If you want me to complain about it, tell me to, and I’ll write up an article just for you.) Not only his match at Extreme Rules 2012 a return match, but Brock Lesnar’s hot off the trails of UFC.

So how does a ‘real’ fighter transition back to ‘fake fighting?’ Well, you make your return and pop the face of the company in the mouth, busting his lip open. Whether this was intentional or accidental isn’t the point. The point is that something that LOOKED real happened. In a worked-shoot sort of way, Brock Lesnar just may be correct in his claims of bringing ‘legitimacy’ back to WWE. So, his match with John Cena will be an ‘Extreme Rules’ match. I expect this to be brutal in a good way, but I do hope they don’t go too overboard. The hardcore gimmick will allow this match to be a brawl rather than a wrestling match, which will fit nicely for Lesnar, given his evolved ‘fighting’ background. My pick: Brock Lesnar wins.

Additional note: I still can’t believe he’s back. I knew it’d eventually happen, but he just seems so out of place. The Rock fit in really well, with his slick hashtags and phony, corporate marketing techniques, but Brock Lesnar is, was, and always will be Brock Lesnar. He’s not polished, he’s not HD, he’s not here to trend. He’s here to be a war machine.

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Chris Jericho vs CM Punk – WWE Championship

Next up, we’ve got Chris Jericho challenging CM Punk for the WWE Title in a Chicago Street Fight at Extreme Rules 2012. There’s a whole lot wrong with this feud, and I could write an entire article about it. Everything’s right, and it’s great, but the fact that they went the ‘alcoholic father’ route so EARLY in the feud frustrates me. WrestleMania should have been about wrestling, and the low-blow escalation should have been a last-ditch effort for Jericho to get ONE MORE SHOT at the gold. Either way, it’s still good TV, and good wrestling. Now, the two best WRESTLERS collide in a street fight, which should be very interesting. These two are not only two of the most technically-proficient wrestlers, but two of the best minds among active wrestlers today, so even if brawling isn’t their forte, we’ll still see them pull off something extremely memorable. My pick: CM Punk wins at Extreme Rules 2012, and will keep winning until facing Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2012.

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus – World Heavyweight Championship

That takes care of Raw’s title scene. On the Smackdown end of things, Daniel Bryan gets his rematch after the most rewarding loss in WWE history. When he lost the title after a mere 18 seconds, I admit I was pretty pissed, as were most of the fans in attendance. However, I realized it’d probably mean the second match (hi there, rematch clause) would not only be lengthy, but would probably steal the show. Daniel Bryan benefited more from losing the title than Sheamus did by winning it. Sure enough, we’ve got a 2/3 falls match at Extreme Rules 2012. Bryan will be determined to win by submission, and it will cost him the match. It’ll be brutal, fast, and furious, and lengthy. If they do a DOUBLE flash fall, it’ll be aggravating, but who knows: it may put Bryan over even more! My pick: Sheamus, and I’m completely fine with that. Bryan is OVER.

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Beth Phoenix vs Generic Brunette #1 (or 2?) – Divas Championship

Beth Phoenix to face someone for some title at WWE Extreme Rules 2012.

Beth Phoenix, putting the ‘hot’ in image hot-linking.

And now for something completely different: The Divas title. Beth Phoenix has gotten this site quite a bit of traffic due to a high-res image people like to hotlink to and steal my bandwidth. So for that… to those people: thank you, and you’re welcome. For some reason, Nikki Bella has the belt. I assure you, no one cares. Everyone’s saying Beth Phoenix vs Kharma is the ‘money match’ they’re holding out on. Let’s face it, there is not a SINGLE MONEY MATCH involving women’s wrestlers (celebrities aside) unless they book them better. Beth Phoenix isn’t going to draw a dime because you booked her like a joke as a champion. I mean didn’t Lita/Trish main event Raw ‘back in the day?’ Give them the ball! To call that a money match is impossible when you haven’t backed them at all. My pick: Who cares? Give me a reason to care, I’m begging you.

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: The Miz vs Santino Marella – Intercontinental Championship

A lot of people are absolutely WHINING about The Miz vs Santino Marella being dropped down to pre-show status. Those people would be complete idiots. The reason these two have a match on the live YouTube stream of the pre-show is a COMPLIMENT. They were selected because they’ll draw traffic. Traffic = AD REVENUE for the WWE YouTube account. They’re putting effort into the pre-show for once because they actually want EYES on it. Why? Because even if people don’t buy the pay-per-view as a result of it, they’ll be viewing advertisements. If this is successful, expect to see a decent match-up on every pre-show. Hell, you’ll eventually be more likely to see an (unannounced) lesser-drawing match (Primo & Not-Carlito) on the actual pay-per-view, because people will have already paid to see the event. Be glad that these guys get a spot that puts them under a completely unique spotlight. My pick: Santino Marella. He excites the crowd regularly, so I see no reason for him to drop the belt. However, he may not need it. The Miz might!

WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Other Nonsense

Beth Phoenix to face someone for some title at WWE Extreme Rules 2012.

Beth Phoenix, thanks for the traffic.

Other matches I really have nothing to say about are Cody Rhodes & Big Show battling over the Intercontinental Title. Big Show wins. A lot of people despise the Big Show, and I can’t say I’m entertained every single time, but I still say he’s one of the best true ‘giants’ of all-time. Watch this match. Orton vs Kane in another WrestleMania rematch. Orton will win, and I couldn’t possibly care any less than I do right now.

For the most part I’m pretty interested in seeing this show. There’s some filler and some glaring omissions, but the big matches seem big enough to more than competently sell the show.

Note from the future: This turned out to be the 2nd best card of the year (just a hair under SummerSlam) so be sure to pick it up on DVD.

What were your thoughts on WWE Extreme Rules 2012?

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